Fiji men's sevens up for world breakthrough award despite coaching snub at home

Fiji's gold-medal winning men's sevens campaign at the 2016 Rio Olympics has them up for a major award.
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Fiji's gold-medal winning men's sevens campaign at the 2016 Rio Olympics has them up for a major award.

Fiji's Olympic Games' sevens triumph has seen them in line for a world sports award - even if their former coach isn't up for a Fiji rugby award.

The Fijian men's sevens side that won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is one of finalists for the 'Breakthrough of the Year' title at the Laureus Sports Awards.

It's a tough category to win though - the victors are up against the likes of shock English Premier League champions Leicester City and Formula One motor racing champion Nico Rosberg.

But Ben Ryan, the Englishman who coached Fiji to Olympic glory, wasn't even nominated by the Fiji Rugby Union as a Coach of the Year finalists at their inaugural awards.

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That's despite being awarded the Companion of the Order of Fiji, the highest honour in the country, as well as being given three acres of land and a chiefly title in Serua province where he had been living following the Rio success.

Ryan resigned from the job following the Games in sevens then upset the FRU after an online spat over player payments.

Ryan was nominated for Coach of the Year at the World Rugby awards, but lost out to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

The Laureus Sports Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony in Monaco on February 14.  

Breakthrough of the Year finalists: Fiji (rugby sevens), Nico Rosberg (motorsport), Almaz Ayana (athletics), Wayde van Niekerk (athletics), Leicester City (football), Iceland (football).

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